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This Week's Walks - Archive

Please see the Saturday Walker's Club This Week's Walks page.

This is an archive of walks done by the Saturday Walker's Club. You should only need to use this page if the SWC website is down.

Blog Archive

Thursday, 28 November 2019

Last Minute Changes / News

I plan to post more short weekend walks (~ 5 miles or so, e.g. Bushy, Richmond parks, London Ring/Loop), starting again in a few weeks time (unless a volunteer would like to take over)

Autumn colour is increasing - but you have to look closely: see Nature Blog

Plans afoot for Scotland 2019 (see below).

Saturday, 25 May 2019

Scotland 2019.....Achnasheen

The 2019 annual SWC Scottish trip will be to Glencarron near the small village of Achnasheen in Wester Ross on the western edge of the Highlands about an hour from Inverness. It will run from Saturday 25 May to Saturday 1 June 2019.  For more information, please contact goepfertkarenATyahooDOTcom.

Friday, 9 November 2018

The Wider Earth - a play at Jerwood Theatre inside Natural History Museum at 19:30

Join the 22-year-old Darwin on HMS Beagle's daring voyage to the far side of the world, and discover the gripping story behind one of the most important discoveries in history.  The Wider Earth features remarkable puppetry, an original score and cinematic animations to bring to life uncharted landscapes. Where would it be a better place than Natural History Museum to host this fascinating play?
To book, click here.  If you look for cheaper seats, a press review suggests to book at the back of the theatre rather than in the front as the set is very large, you get better view from the back. 

Wednesday, 31 October 2018

The Sun: Living With Our Star at the Science Museum

Tonight, we are visiting the Science Museum taking advantage of the adult only late opening.  

The Sun: Living With Our Star tells the story of humankind’s dependence on, and ever changing understanding of, our star from golden solar religious artefacts in the Nordic Bronze Age (dating back to 1400 BC), to details of upcoming NASA and ESA solar missions.  Set at the centre of our solar system, the Sun's brilliant light shapes our sense of time, our health and our environment. The exhibition offers spectacular interactive experiences, unique artefacts and stunning imagery shed fresh light on humanity's relationship with our closest star.  
To book a ticket, please click here.  Book the 7:30pm slot.  Meet at the entrance to the exhibition at 7:25pm.  There will be a pre-exhibition F&B at 6pm - venue TBD but likely to be at Caluccio's South Kensington.  If you would like to come to dinner, please email swcsocialATgmailDOTcom before 24th Oct.

Wednesday Walk Wendover Circular - a Book 2 Chiltern's Classic not for the Faint Hearted

Book 2, Walk 1 - Wendover Circular

Length: 18.5 km (11.5 miles)
Toughness: 7 out of 10 (8.5 out of 10 with Coombe Hill ending)

London Marylebone: 09-57 hrs       Aylesbury Vale Parkway service
Arrive Wendover: 10-45 hrs

Return: 16-23, 16-53, 17-20, 17-55, 18-26, 18-52 and 19-23 hrs

You get a good work out on this walk, particularly if you attempt the Coombe Hill ending, but  energy spent should be rewarded by Chiltern Hill's leaf colour in the many woods along the way, and you will have some lovely views today.

You will have to maintain a steady pace (no dawdling) if you want luncheon at the Red Lion pub in Whiteleaf - always best to 'phone ahead with numbers: 01844-344476  your e.t.a is 13-25 hrs.

More woods, steep bits and Chiltern's classic countryside in the afternoon before you have that very steep climb to the summit of Coombe Hill with its Boer War monument.  Then - relief - its downhill all the way to Wendover.  For your tea stop, chocaholics go to Rumsey's Chocolaterie, a short distance down the High Street, whilst I prefer the Shoulder of Mutton pub near the railway station.
Walk Directions here: L=2.1

Saturday, 27 October 2018

Saturday Walk – Eridge Old Park and the hilltop village of Frant

Extra Walk 196 – Wadhurst to Tunbridge Wells
Length: 13¾ km (8.5 miles). Toughness: 4/10

09:45 Hastings train from Charing Cross (Waterloo East 09:48, London Bridge 09:54, Orpington 10:10), arriving Wadhurst at 10:47. Buy a return to Wadhurst.

There are four trains an hour back from Tunbridge Wells at 09, 21, 39 & 51 minutes past.

In the last couple of years this fairly short Wealden walk has been posted in late November when the ground has been very soggy, so hopefully it will appear in a better light this time. There should be some good autumn colour, especially on the permissive path along the edge of Eridge Old Park: this has been quite overgrown in the past but recent feedback said that it was now well maintained and easy to follow.

There's a choice of two good pubs in the hilltop village of Frant for lunch, the George Inn and the Abergavenny Arms, plus a large green for hardy picknickers. At the end of the walk Juliets is probably the pick of the tea places in Tunbridge Wells, but there's plenty of choice.

You'll need to bring the directions from the Wadhurst to Tunbridge Wells walk page.

Wednesday, 24 October 2018

Wednesday Walk Ockley to Warnham - Woods and Rural Delights along the Surrey-West Sussex Border

Book 1, Walk 47 - Ockley to Warnham

Length: 16.5 km (10.3 miles)
Toughness: 3 out of 10

London Victoria: 10-25 hrs    Horsham service    CJ 10-32 hrs     Sutton 10-54 hrs
Arrive Ockley: 11-33 hrs

Warnham to Victoria: direct service - 18 mins past hour to 17-18, then 17-46, 18-16 and 18-46 hrs,
or 39 mins past hour via Horsham to 17-39, then 18-09 and 18-39 hrs

Rail ticket: Either a day return to Warnham or a day return to Horsham - any route permitted

Leaf colour in the many woods on this walk should be coming on nicely to add to your enjoyment of this rural walk along the Surrey and West Sussex border.

There are two (usually) excellent pubs for your choice of lunch stop, with the Scarlett Arms in Walliswood being on the main route, and the the Punchbowl in Okewood Hill on a short diversion. If there are six or more of you wishing to dine it's best to 'phone ahead with numbers. Scarlett Arms  (e..t.a 13-30 hrs) 01306-627243: Punchbowl (e.t.a 13-15 hrs)  01306-627249.

You walk through more woods and farmland after lunch as you make your way to Warnham. The pub in the centre of town serves as your tea stop - the Sussex Oak. Usual warning - it's a good 20 mins from the pub to the railway station, so best allow 30 mins as trains are not that frequent for your return to London, either direct or via Horsham.

Walkers wanting a longer walk today have the option of adding on the Warnham to Horsham leg ( a couple of miles) as described in the Directions - but you are adding distance for distance sake as the route is not that exciting. But this option comes into its own if you miss the last train (in either direction) from Warnham and you have enough daylight to walk to Horsham.
Walk Directions here: L=1.47

Sunday, 21 October 2018

Sunday Walk: Great Missenden Circular

Length 16 km 10 miles. Difficulty 3/10
A Chilterns walk that uses sections of two other walks (GM to Amersham and Chesham to GM) and visits the Cock and Rabbit for lunch.
From Marylebone, get the 9:57 Aylesbury Vale Parkway train arriving Great Missenden 10:38.
Return trains a bit erratic. Hourly at xx:29 to 15:29, then 15:59, 16:59, 17:29 and hourly again from 17:59. Why so? ask Chiltern Railways. Get a return to Great Missenden.
The Cock and Rabbit, Lee Common 01494 837540.
There are two pubs near the station.
The Cross Keys is one (it doesn't do hot drinks).
The George Inn has recently re-opened as the George Ale House after a long campaign to save it.
The "Café at the Roald Dahl Museum", as 'Cafe Twit' is now known, should be open till 5. It hasn't been open on Sundays since flood damage closed the attraction. However, if the museum reopens this weekend as intended, the Cafe will resume normal hours. Splendiferous.
Are you sitting comfortably? Then I’ll begin. You need two sets of directions. These and these. You start off with the Alternative Great Missenden Circular directions. Rather illogically, you follow the second part of these directions before the first part (start on page 2, column 2, at “Book 1 Great Missenden directions to 3”. Then switch back to column 1 and follow those directions). These take you to point [4] in the main Chesham to Great Missenden directions, which you then follow, weeny weeny weeny all the way home.

Sunday Walk: Cowden to Hever

Difficulty 4 out of 10, 16½ km (10.3 miles)
Wend your way through the undulating landscape of the High Weald. Visit remote valleys, woods and tiny settlements. Descend into the beautiful villages of Penshurst and Chiddingstone before finally reaching Hever. Each village has an interesting church, as well as a historic house open to the public. The walk can be shortened by up to 5km (3 miles) but the shortcuts bypass the villages.
Get the 9:51 East Grinstead train from Victoria (Clapham Jct 9:58, East Croydon 10:09). Change at Oxted onto the 10:38 Uckfield train. Arrive Cowden 10:55.
Return from Hever at xx:07, changing at Hurst Green or Oxted.
Get a return to Cowden.
The attractive Rock Inn  (01892-870296) in Hoath Corner is an early option.
The suggested lunch place in Penshurst is the Leicester Arms Hotel  (01892-871617).
Nearby, just outside the main entrance to Penshurst Place, the Porcupine Pantry (01892-870307) serves light lunches and afternoon teas.
Later in the walk, you have the Castle Inn (01892-870371) at Chiddingstone.
In Chiddingstone you got The Tulip Tree (01892-871504), behind the Chiddingstone Stores, open to 5pm. You also got the Chiddingstone Castle Tea Room (01892-872746) in the castle grounds (it's accessible without paying).
Last up, you got the King Henry Ⅷ (01732-862457) in Hever village. The station is still 1½ km away and trains are hourly so allow enough time (say, 20-25 minutes).
Optional Features
Penshurst Place is a medieval manor house with an attractive formal garden, admission is £11.50, or £9.50 for the gardens only.
Chiddingstone Castle is a castellated manor house rebuilt in the 19thC, admission is £9.50.
Hever Castle, the childhood home of Anne Boleyn, has spectacular gardens, admission is £17.25, or £14.50 for the gardens only.
Walk directions here
We are doing the Main Walk.

Saturday, 20 October 2018

Saturday Walk: Hever to Ashurst

10.1 miles / 16.25 km

A walk in a more remote part of the High Weald, with lunch at the village of Cowden.

Trains: Take the 10:07 train from London Bridge, arriving at Hever at 10:49.  Return trains from Ashurst are at xx:56.  Buy a day return to Ashurst (Kent).

Lunch: The Fountain, Cowden (01342 850528).  Food served until 2:30pm.

There are no refreshments near Ashurst station, but in mid-afternoon the route passes the Perryhill Orchard Farm Shop and Tea Rooms.  Some walkers may remember the Farm Shop for its range of local ciders.  The Tea Rooms are open until 4:30pm.  Allow at least an hour to cover the 4km from here to Ashurst station.


Saturday Walk - Guaranteed No Leaf Colours: Rye - Camber Sands - Dungeness Nuke and Shingle - Lydd-on-Sea or Lydd, or Rye Circular

The tide is on our side, and the firing range is closed, so here goes: a walk like no fully written up.

Rye to Dungeness and Lydd-on-Sea, or Rye Circular, or Rye to Dungeness to Lydd
Length:  21.7 km/13.5 mi or 17.6 km/11.0 mi or 27.3 km/17.0 mi
Ascent/Descent:  negligible
Net Walking Time: ca. 5 hours or 4 hours or 6 hours (incl. time added for the shingle and sand for options 1 and 3)
Toughness:  4 out of 10 or 1 out of 10 or 5 out of 10
Take the 09.34 Margate train from St. Pancras I’nal (Stratford I’nal 09.41), change at Ashford (10.11/10.24), arrives Rye 10.45
Trains from Victoria or Charing X to Ashford can’t be recommended, as they either just miss the connection, or leave only one minute to change trains!
At the end of the walk, from Lydd and Lydd-on-Sea take buses back to Rye or on to Ham Street or Ashford.
Return trains are on xx.47 from Rye and xx.01 from Ham Street. Total journey time 67 mins from Rye.
Buy a Rye (Sussex) return.

This is a fascinating and most unusual walk, initially leading from the historic Cinque Ports Town of Rye along the Rother River to Camber Sands with its shallow and wide sandy beach lined by magnificent sand dunes and with a selection of lunch stops. After lunch you follow the coast along the beach or the seawall through the Lydd Firing Ranges (only open for about 65 days a year, today is one of them) into the desolate, vast expanse of shingle  (one of the largest in Europe) that is the Dungeness National Nature Reserve and then past the Dungeness Nuclear Power Station. You pass a couple of lighthouses (old and new) and a few tea options in Dungeness and then continue past Derek Jarman’s famed garden to The Pilot Inn in Lydd-on-Sea, from where buses take you back to Rye or on to Ham Street or Ashford stations.

Note: to shorten the exposure to the shingle do the walk on days when low tide is around early afternoon (it is, at 14.47).
A circular option from Camber back to Rye through grassy marsh land cuts out all shingly sections.
An alternative ending from Dungeness leads to Lydd through the shingly Denge Beach area and a large RSPB Reserve.

Return travel by bus:
From Lydd-on-Sea (The Pilot Inn) by line 102 to Lydd and on to Rye (xx.50 to 18.50) or by line 11 to Ham Street or Ashford (17.10, arr. Ham Street 17.46, Ashford 18.10);
From Lydd Church by line 102 to Rye (xx.01 to 19.01 then 19.57).
The Lydd Ranges are closed this weekend, see here.
Low Tide is at 14.47, so we should be fine to avoid most of the shingle.

Lunch: The Owl pub or The Rye Bay Bar & Café  in Camber (about 6.0 km).
Tea: [Dungeness/Lydd-on-Sea] The End of the Line  café or The Britannia Inn, 2.0 km from the end, or The Snack Shack or The Pilot Inn at the walk’s end. 
[Rye] Too numerous to list here, check the pdf. [Lydd] The Dolphin or The George Hotel.
For walk directions, map, height profile and gpx/kml files  click here. T=swc.154

DAC is away

Saturday walk - Alton Circular - Autumn colours around Selbourne

Length: 20.4km (12.7 miles)
Toughess: 4 out of 10: a few hills only

Catch the 9.23 train from Waterloo to Alton, arriving 10.37

If you miss this, get the 9.30 Portsmouth Harbour train and change at Woking (arrive 9.54, depart 10.00)

From Clapham Junction, get the 9.27 Exeter St David's train and change at Woking (arrive 9.45, depart 10.00)

For walk directions click here. For GPX click here.

A positive tsunami of RMT industrial action on South Western Railway is on its way, but this weekend will be free of it, so I am sneaking in with this classic Hampshire circuit. Beyond its literary connections with Gilbert White and Jane Austen, an attraction at this time of year is the extensive areas of woodland before and after Selborne, which hopefully will be showing some autumn tints.

Lunch is at the Selborne Arms, which serves food until 2pm: it is 6.3 miles into the walk, so no shilly-shallying. Other alternatives include the tea room of the Gilbert White Museum (they will let you in without paying the entrance fee if you are only going to the tea room) and possibly the Coffee Room cafe, if that still exists, in the main street of the village.

Mid-afternoon the Rose and Crown pub in Upper Farringdon has re-opened (somewhat to my surprise) and could make a drinks stop. Only the superhuman will get to Cassandra's Cup, the tea room in Chawton, before it closes at 4pm, but the nearby Greyfriar pub ain't that bad a place. The backstop tea option is Costa Coffee in Alton, open till 6pm, and no doubt the town has a pub or two worth visiting.

Those eager to buy "refreshments" for the train might like to know that the Waitrose next to the station stays open till 8pm.

Trains back are at 15 and 44 past the hour. T=2.10